Annkio Briggs: I Never Condemned N/Delta Avengers •Explains ‘Somalia Origin’ Comment

Annkio-BriggsA prominent Niger Delta environmental and human rights activist, Annkio Briggs, has denied reports that she condemned the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, saying she “will never oppose anyone agitating for the development” of the region.
Ms. Briggs was widely reported as giving the militant group knocks over its bombing of oil and gas installations while speaking at the 17th annual convention of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, in Enugu, the Enugu State capital, on Sunday evening.
The report, sourced from the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, also quoted the Agape Birthrights’ founder as saying that the Avengers are from Somalia.
Refuting the report last night, Ms. Briggs said the comments attributed to her had earned her widespread condemnation.
“I can tell you categorically that I never condemned the Niger-Delta Avengers because doing so would mean I am condemning those agitating for the development of my region”, she said. “I only pointed out the hypocrisy of the federal government that said Fulani herdsmen came from Libya but Avengers are Ijaw”.
“I said if the government could claim that the Fulani herdsmen are from Libya, why can’t they say the Avengers are from Somalia because of the pirates activities in that country? Why were they so quick to label the Avengers as being Ijaw people? And is Ijaw the only ethnic group in the Niger-Delta?” Ms. Briggs queried.
The spokesperson for the Ijaw Republican Assembly, IRA, said although she “had no idea about the identities of those calling themselves the Avengers”, she had continued to urge them to embrace dialogue with the Nigerian government.
“It is wrong for anyone to suggest that I will condemn the Avengers when I don’t even know them. I only know that they’re fighting the plight of the Niger-Delta people and I have called on them to cease the attacks and come to the table for dialogue”.
On the NDA’s decision on Monday to participate in talks by giving conditions for dialogue with the government, Ms. Briggs hailed the move as “a welcome development” because “it showed that they can toe the path to a peaceful resolution of the age-long crisis”.


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